Thursday, September 17, 2020

Secret Legacy: Guest Post and Giveaway

Secret Legacy
Carissa Andrews
(The Windhaven Witches #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

☆☆~~ 50% of Royalties Donated to the American Cancer Society! ~~☆☆

Nestled in the woods of Windhaven, Blackwood Manor waits to unleash a dark and deadly legacy…

When Autumn Blackwood shows up at Windhaven Academy for the Witching Stick Orientation, she hopes to find out what dormant powers she could possibly possess to have been accepted to the elite supernatural school. Instead, the academy is in chaos as everyone frantically hunts for two missing girls.

But as school begins with Autumn no closer to figuring out her powers, strange occurrences start to follow her everywhere. Even at home, Blackwood Manor keeps many secrets, and Autumn can’t escape its haunting past.

New friends urge her to learn more about her family’s history in order to unlock her powers and make sense of what’s happening at Blackwood Manor, but Autumn’s not so sure. Once an accident brings Autumn face-to-face with death, however, she realizes her gifts are tied to a legacy that can either save or doom them all…

Fans of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, or MR Forbes’ Necromancer: The Complete Series will love The Windhaven Witches.

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Guest Post

Where the Idea for Secret Legacy Came From



The idea for Secret Legacy originally came to me as a dream that I had when I was 14-years-old. The dream itself felt so real that I could swear to this day it was a past-life memory. I’d never been in a house with such grand (or old) features before. The dream took me into what would become my “new bedroom” and from there, I found a small door hidden behind the elaborately decorated wallpaper. I couldn’t get it opened at first because the handle was missing – which, in my dream, I found I the closet. (Spoiler: that’s not where my main character finds hers. HA!) When I did get the door opened, I was shocked to find what I did on the other side. I woke up just after opening it.


The next day, I ended up at my Mom and Dad’s computer, pounding away at the keyboard. At the time, I was reading plenty of Fear Street and Christopher Pike novels, so I told the story along the same lines as what I had been reading. The story flowed and within a few weeks, I had finished my first ever manuscript – some 120 8x11 pages long. Of course, I turned it over to the one person I thought might get a kick out of it, my English teacher. Bless her, she read the whole thing and even gave me extra credit in English that year for doing something so…weird, I guess… for a kid my age. HA!


So, because of that, Secret Legacy has gone by a few different names. First, my 14-year-old-self titled it Never What They Seem. (Oh, so dramatic, I know. What can I say, I was into the dramatic back then. HA!) Then, when I first decided to (eh-hem) resurrect the story, it went by the name Remnants. However, I knew the story wasn’t finished when I ended it, so I wanted to create a series. At the time, I was learning more about how to make a series more cohesive so readers could find it and know they were all a part of the same world. I decided to rebrand the titles, keeping the theme and messaging consistent. It was all about this girl, Autumn Blackwood’s legacy. Thus, Secret Legacy, Soul Legacy, Haunted Legacy, and Cursed Legacy were born.

Author Bio:

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

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Monday, September 7, 2020

The Beautiful: Excerpt and Giveaway



Beautiful
Leigh Hatchmann

Genre: Fantasy Romance, Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Independent
Date of Publication: 27th August 2020
ASIN: B08BNKG3ZV
Number of pages: app. 380
Word Count: app. 90,000 words

Cover Artist: Sarah Paige from Opium House Designs

Tagline: You think you know their story . . .

Book Description:

Bella-Rosa Amato

My life is the envy of women everywhere. I live in a gorgeous mansion, wear expensive clothes, go to A-list parties, and attend a prestigious college.

It is a life of beauty and glamor . . . and all of it is a lie.

Behind closed doors, I am bullied by my cold and powerful father. With no money of my own, I have no choice but to obey him . . .

Until I am attacked, and a half man-half beast intervenes. Kit takes me to his home to heal, where I am immersed in his secret world. As we bond over unexpected experiences and shared interests, my gratitude changes into something that feels as old as time.

Kit/King

I was created for the darkness and, for a while, it controlled me. But I escaped that life and made a new home for myself.

Before Bella crossed my path, I didn’t think happiness was possible. But she not only accepts my differences, she offers friendship.

Her gentle and compassionate heart opens me up to those parts within me.
With her, I don’t feel like the beast I have always been labeled.

But the closer we get, the more I wonder if I am truly as human as she believes, and whether the mistakes of the beast can ever be forgiven . . .

When an old enemy resurfaces, Bella and Kit will need to stand firm in their love, face the brutalities of the past, and trust in the beauty that comes from within to make it out alive.

BEAUTIFUL is a sweet and dark, modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The themes of beauty, strength, redemption, and love shine through in an unforgettable tale that will make you question everything you think you know about beauty . . . and the beast.


Amazon USA      Amazon Australia       Amazon UK


Excerpt 2:
“Look at me, Bella. There’s more to me than just a human. My size, my strength, my claws, my jaws . . . I could hurt you.”
“I don’t believe that.”
I shook my head and mumbled, “You and Josephine believe too much of me.”
“That’s because we see you for who you are.”
I shook my head. “You don’t. Nobody does . . .”
Pain pulsed through my heart at the conclusion that came. Bella would leave me if she ever found out the terrible things I had done. How could she not? She would never be able to love the real me, the whole me. The beast in me.
This thing between us couldn’t go on. It had been a dream. A dream I had to stop before it became a nightmare.
I turned my back to her again and said, “It’s best for both of us if you leave and don’t come back.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Kit. I’m not leaving––”
This time, I let the beast go. I spun around and roared . . .

About the Author:

Leigh Hatchmann is a best-selling non-fiction author, international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing coach, editor, and hot chocolate addict. She uses her postgraduate degree in counseling to create believable, three-dimensional characters. Her certificates in forensic science and forensic anthropology help her to create realistic crime elements in her stories. She is currently completing her master's degree in writing and has also finished postgraduate study in editing.

When not writing, reading, coaching, studying, or enjoying nature, she can be found having fun in nature with her three gorgeous children (plus one laid back dog and one grumpy cat). She is active on social media and encourages readers to interact with her there. She also writes fiction under the pseudonym A.K. Leigh and non-fiction as Alicia Leigh.

*Fall in love . . . with Leigh!*







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Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.


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Our next UnboundTalks episode will be A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer!
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Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Crow King Book Blitz

The Crow King
M. H. Woodscourt
(Wintervale, #1)
Publication date: September 1st 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Magic is against the law. He must use it anyway.

The Crow King has outlawed magic. Despite the kingdom’s edict, Gwyn plunges into the ancient and deadly True Wood to find a magical cure for his dying brother. Within the shadowed realm, he must fend off more than violent and fallen fae-like Ilidreth when he learns the king is out to stop him at whatever cost.

On his desperate quest, he is joined by a unicorn, a quirky girl, and the maddest of the fallen fae. Together they must outrun enchanted crows and enemy armies, and face the ghosts of a shattered age, all while racing to save Gwyn’s brother. Meanwhile, war brews between countries, and a secret order of mages hunts Gwyn down.

Yet none of this can prepare Gwyn for the harrowing truth behind the fall of the Ilidreth long, long ago, and what it means for his life and his homeland.

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EXCERPT:

Mist curled over the quiet hills of Vinwen. Somewhere a bird trilled, prophesying the coming dawn, and the sun answered with a ring of gold spilling over the horizon as it peeked at the slumbering world. Lazy clouds drifted by, grey, dappled with faint pinks and yellows.

Sitting on the wooden fence, Gwynter ren Terare squinted against the hovering gloom in the valley below, eyes fixed on the road. He strained for any sound beyond the faint chirrup of crickets, the song of birds, the gush of the nearby stream. A crow cawed as it landed on the fence.

There. Just there. A faint neigh. The rattle of a wheel against a stray stone. A cracking whip. Gwyn shoved against the rough wood post, leapt to his feet atop the fence, and wobbled once before he caught his balance. Perched, he soon made out the distant shape of the coming carriage, a single lantern bobbing to pierce the predawn shadows.

Gwyn grinned and jumped from the fence. The crow screamed and flew off. Gwyn loped along the streambank up toward the manor house. His shoulder-length hair flounced in his eyes, but he ignored it as he cut through a protesting gaggle of geese and threw himself against the kitchen door to stumble inside.

“Mercy, child!” cried Mavell, spoon in hand. “You look a sight. What awful trouble could there be so early as this?”

Gwyn shook his head as he gasped for air, leaning forward, hands on his legs. He gulped a few times before he could utter a word. “Lawen’s coming. Almost here. Down the road a bit.” He straightened and headed for a bucket of water on the table, took up a ladle, and helped himself to a long, cool drink.

The cook grabbed the ladle, poured water into a cup, and handed that to Gwyn. “Master Lawen, already? Surely not. He’s not to come until tomorrow, so his letter said.”

Gwyn drained the cup. He held it out to let Mavell ladle him another. “But he’s always early. I had a feeling to watch for him, and here he comes.”

“And how do you know it’s Master Lawen?”

Gwyn smiled. “I always know.”

She pursed her lips but didn’t argue. There seemed no point, they both knew that.

“Well,” the slender woman said, rubbing her hands against her apron. “If it is Master Lawen, oughtn’t you go off and clean yourself up for his arrival? Your mother will have a fit if you greet him looking like a shepherd’s boy.” She swatted Gwyn’s backside with the ladle. “Off with you, go on.”

Gwyn chuckled and trotted out of the kitchen and into a long gallery. His feet echoed against the flagstones. He cast a glance out the windows to find that full dawn had banished grey in favor of a thousand shades of green and brilliant gold. He could hear the geese and chickens griping and dogs barking as the carriage rolled along the private drive leading to the house. Gwyn thought he heard the crunch of gravel and his heart leapt.

Lawen! Home, at last. How long had it been? A year or longer. Mount Vinwen had felt hollow in his absence, though none of the others appeared to notice.

Gwyn reached his room, brushed off his trousers to dislodge any dirt or wood splinters, and changed his coarse shirt for fine woven linen. He slipped on stockings, yanked on a pair of polished boots, then caught his hair in a ponytail. A last inspection in his mirror. Gwyn awarded himself a curt, militaristic nod. He tugged one last time on his long shirt front, wrapped his belt atop it, clicked his heels, and headed downstairs.

In the main vestibule he found the rest of the ren Terares assembled, even Mother, though her lips pressed tight and her eyebrows arched above eyes sharp as needles. She turned toward Gwyn as he reached the bottom of the sweeping staircase and her gaze softened.

“Gwyn, dearheart. Thank you for not looking like a peasant this morning.”

He kissed her cheeks. “Good morning, Mother. I thought this occasion warranted the change.”

She sighed. “Yes, I suppose the master is home today.”

Gwyn brushed off her tone, not willing to let it seep in. He could understand her resentment in a way. Last year Tynveer ren Terare, Gwyn and Lawen’s blood father, had been killed in a skirmish against the savage Ilidreth. Now Lawen was the master of Mount Vinwen, and Mother, Tynveer’s second wife after Lawen’s mother had passed, now suspected her stepson would soon send her and her three children to live at another of his estates, but Gwyn knew better. There was no kinder soul in all Simaerin than his elder half-brother.

The sound of crunching gravel outside the front doors ceased as the carriage bounced to a stop. Gwyn’s younger sisters laughed and tumbled forward as the servants pulled the manor doors aside to admit the Master of Vinwen.


Author Bio:

Writer of fantasy, magic weaver, dragon rider! Having spent the past 20 years devotedly writing fantasy, it's safe to say M. H. Woodscourt is now more fae than human.

Her published titles include The Crow King, book one of her YA/High Fantasy Wintervale series, A Liar in Paradise and Key of Paradise of her YA/Portal Fantasy Paradise series, as well as October Cove, an Urban Fantasy novella.

All of her fantasy worlds connect with each other in a broad Universe, forged with love, sadism, and no small measure of blood, sweat, and tears. When she's not writing, she's napping or reading a book with a mug of hot cocoa close at hand.

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